Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Wed Aug 31 08:24:21 BST 2011

Eric Griffith posted on Wed, 31 Aug 2011 02:15:19 -0400 as excerpted:

> Hey guys, not really related to KDE but just kind of curious.
> The way that I understood it... PulseAudio came along because Alsa and
> OSS couldn't reliably handle multiple applications outputting sound at
> the sametime. Last night I moved from Fedora to Arch and I was getting
> everything set up; and I found that if I enabled DMIX support under
> Alsa, it was one less layer of overhead; still had ACTUAL hardware
> access (not just "Pulse Sound Server") And I could get outputs from
> multiple apps.
> Now; one little caveat that was mentioned on the Arch Wiki was that DMIX
> can have really bad sampling by default, but that it was an easy fix
> under .asoundrc via "  defaults.pcm.rate_converter "samplerate_best"  "
> The downside to this was it caused higher CPU Usage; which as the
> industry says, CPU Power is cheap.
> Fedora, Ubuntu, Mageia, they all install PulseAudio by default...but
> really, is it necessary now that CPU's are more powerful and DMIX has
> its bugs worked out? It just seems like one more layer of overhead, one
> more layer of lost preformance because of abstraction, and one more
> layer where something can go wrong.
> If I'm wrong, PLEASE tell me because I'd love to learn something new.

While I personally 100% agree with you, in all fairness, it's worth 
noting that this is one of those points that's likely to be one of those 
traditional "semi-friendly" rivalries Linux is known for (like kde vs 
gnome, vi vs emacs, open source vs free software, gnu/linux vs simply 
linux...), for some time.

>From another angle, for better or for worse, this is the Lennart 
Poettering project with which he made his name.  As a result, he has 
become quite a controversial figure, with his "my way is the only right 
way" attitude (my characterization but read a bit, I'm not alone), etc.  
FWIW, he's currently doing much the same thing to the Linux init system 
with systemd, turning the traditional sysv init system on its head, "his 
way".  Yes, the old sysv system had problems as-is, but it was quite 
possible to work around most of them while keeping the general sysv 
system framework -- don't fix what's not broken, as they say, and while 
parts of it were admittedly showing their age, it's quite possible to 
continue to use an inittab and initscripts based system and still have 
service dependencies, reliable service start and stop, parallel service 
start/stop, etc, as Gentoo (for one) has been demonstrating for years 
now, with openrc.

Meanwhile, pulse-audio and now systemd seem to be becoming part of what 
has been termed the "Gnome OS", and to a lessor extent, arguably the "KDE 
OS" as well, complete with all the u*/*kit (udev/consolekit, etc) 

Meanwhile, as an arch user yourself, and with me a gentoo user, it's 
definitely worth noting that we're both using distos aimed at the power 
user, while to some extent these types of services cater to the "just 
make it work, I'd rather buy a different system than have to mess with 
it" crowd.  When it "just works", it can be quite an experience.  OTOH, 
when it does NOT just work, it's ALSO "quite an experience", particularly 
for those of us not afraid to "get our hands dirty" in the config, given 
that the config of such systems is becoming rather more opaque and harder 
to deal with, where it doesn't work "out of the box" for those who don't 
mind actually (horror of horrors!) tweaking things to get them to work, 
and that by the same token that "it just works" out of the box for an 
arguably larger segment than before, where it does NOT "just work" it 
tends to be CONSIDERABLY harder to GET it to work, for those who would 
rather do that than to throw away "perfectly good systems".

Basically, as users of power-user focused distributions, we both have to 
face the fact that the primary focus of Linux is no longer on us power 
users, and that our interests will seem ever more marginal as Linux 
mainstreams.  The fact is that /most/ people /do/ seem to be the "if it 
doesn't 'just work', throw more money at it for faster hardware so the 
less-than-efficient automations can more effectively MAKE it 'just work', 
and if it takes servantware, that's fine if it works as we care more 
about that than freedom (what's freedom?) anyway" school, however 
distressing that is from the viewpoint of you and me. <shrug>

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

This message is from the kde mailing list.
Account management:  https://mail.kde.org/mailman/listinfo/kde.
Archives: http://lists.kde.org/.
More info: http://www.kde.org/faq.html.

More information about the kde mailing list